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Turkish-backed forces fighting street battles in Syria's al-Bab: Defence minister

Reuters , Friday 6 Jan 2017
Turkey
Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik answers a question during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, August 5, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)
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Turkish-backed Syrian rebels are fighting street battles with Islamic State militants in the city of al-Bab, and progress in taking it from the jihadists has been slowed by efforts to avoid civilian casualties, Turkey's defence minister said on Friday.

The rebels, backed by Turkish special forces, tanks and war planes, have been besieging the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab for weeks as part of an operation to drive the jihadists out of a strip of Syrian territory along the Turkish border.

Isik was speaking to broadcaster Haberturk.

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